An Early Kangxi Blue and White Porcelain Dish in Master of the Rocks Style c.1670. Finely Painted with an Extensive Mountainous Landscape. There is a Figure on a Horse Approaching a Small Bridge with his Servant Carrying his Belongings Trailing Behind. The Middle Distance Shows a Low Building and a Man on a Small Boat, the Far Distance is of Mountain Peaks.The Border and Back are Decorated with Flowering Plants.
Some chips filled : the back has shallow chip c.8 x 4 mm, and 7 x 2 mm. The front, a small shallow thin rim chip fc.19 x 2 mm, a few tiny glaze chips filled. The colour is much better than the photograph.
Diameter : 24 cm (8 3/4 inches)
Other dishes of this shape with the same distinctive flowering lotus to the base can be found with Master of the Rocks style but also with an early version of the well know type of Kangxi blue and white porcelain with ladies and children in a garden setting. For a a very similar but slightly larger early Kangxi dish of this type from the collection of W.W. Winkworth and Carew-Shaw Collection Edward Carew-Shaw (1901-1998)
The Master of the Rocks Style :
The phrase Master of the Rocks is unfamiliar to many Chinese, it is another invented category used by western scholars and collectors to pigeon-hole groups of Chinese ceramics, rather like Kraakware or Celadon. However unlike either of these Master of the Rocks first coined by Gerald Reitlinger, is a clear, distinct group. This style lasted from about 1645 to 1690. The highly distinctive painting style consists of landscapes with massive powerful mountains in a linier technique. The style is, for want of a better word, ‘painterly’ and often includes distant mountains painted with a very wet brush that contrast with the linier mountains in the mid ground. The style usually employs a technique of blobby dots, either in the landscape or as a border. These dots are painted with a wet brush and have no outline. These designs were certainly inspired by late Ming scroll painters like Wang Jinazhng (active c.1628 – 1644). The same use of brush strokes in contour like parallels lines can be seen. Mountains with jagged peaks are piled up creating a dramatic structure. But where as many of the scroll painters are known, the ceramics artists are anonymous.